We all view art differently but there are some consistencies and interesting ways that we respond to artwork which I think are really helpful in understanding our own work. When you understand how people read an artwork, it helps you when making your own artwork, and it helps when you come to sell.

It also helps you to understand why and how you respond to other people’s artwork and why other people have different responses to yours. This is so useful as it eliminates the need to appeal to everybody. Not everyone has to love your artwork. It would be impossible. 

Objectively and Subjectively.

There are two different ways of viewing artwork: Objectively and Subjectively.

Objectively is fact based. When you look at an artwork you can see the size, the colours. It is the things that we can identify visually within a piece of art. Things we can all agree on.

Subjectively is when you look at a piece of artwork with emotion. It is about how that piece makes you feel. Your interpretation. This will be different for everybody.

When viewing art in these two ways it’s actually quite interesting. Sometimes you may look at an artwork and feel nothing so you will automatically view the piece objectively – what colours are used, what is happening within the artwork, and what mediums were used. 

Then other times you will look at a piece and it will stir emotion straight away – it reminds you of a memory, a feeling, a reaction. It gives you goosebumps and has a really powerful effect on you. It’s connected with you. 

It is really helpful to recognise your emotion and connection to an artwork. So I tell my members to do this when critiquing. When looking at an artwork we look at the facts. The objective view. What do we actually see? Then you start to bring the subjective view into play. What is your reaction to this piece? How does it make you feel? This will be different for everyone. Some may have similar reactions and others not. 

Stirring emotion

This is what makes art so amazing and beautifully interesting. Your art has the power to stir emotions in other people. It reminds people how to connect. There is a great quote from Paul Klein who said:

“Through your art, in showing yourself, you are allowing others to see themselves.” 

When you make art in your own way, and then someone sees it, you are giving them an invitation to connect. Some people will connect and relate and others won’t – it is so important to remember that you will not connect with everyone in the world. That is impossible because we’re all so individual and so unique in what we see and our experiences.

Make art for yourself

Always remember to make art for yourself. Express your soul through your art. Don’t try to appeal to everyone because you simply never will. Make the art that makes you happy. It will connect with people and stir emotion! 

Much love, 

Michelle xo